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The Nigerian Army says it has taken the delivery of its first batch of new combat aircraft meant to enhance its operational capabilities in the country.

The Director of Army Public Relations, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, who made this known in a statement issued in Abuja, said the berthing of the aircraft marks a significant milestone in the development of the Nigerian Army aviation’s capacity to provide air support for ground operations.

Nwachukwu said the aircraft, BELL UH-1H (HUEY) helicopters, were formally received by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, in a brief ceremony held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Thursday.

“Receiving the aircraft, General Lagbaja, noted that the renewed drive to establish an NA Aviation wing was conceived by the then-former COAS, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah (rtd), in 2014, with a three-phase ten-year implementation plan.

“The COAS extolled former Chiefs of Army Staff, maintaining that their tenacity and drive, along with the collective efforts of personnel and Nigerian Government’s political will, have been instrumental in realizing the fruition of NA Aviation.

“Gen Lagbaja appreciated the various successive administrations for their support in training NA Pilots and Ground Crews as well as putting in place requisite structures.

“The COAS profoundly expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for fulfilling his promise to fund the acquisition of NA platforms and providing all support to actualize the dream.

“The BELL UH-1H Helicopters are equipped with advanced sensors and enablers to conduct a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, rescue, logistics, transportation, and medical evacuation,” the army spokesperson said.

He added that the army chief also appreciated the forerunners, particularly the sister services and the Nigeria Police Force Aviation wing, for their support and encouragement.

Lagbaja noted that the Nigerian Army is spurred to serve the nation better with the acquisition of the new platforms and provide Nigerians, an enabling environment for economic prosperity.

In his remarks, the Coordinator, Nigerian Army Aviation, Brigadier General Musa Alkali, said that the arrival of the Nigerian Army Aviation vanguard platforms is a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance the operational capabilities of the Nigerian Army Aviation, in line with the COAS’s Command Philosophy.

Alkali stressed that the acquisition of the platforms is a clear demonstration of the Nigerian Army’s aviation resolve, which started 40 years ago to continuously improve and adapt in the face of an evolving security landscape.


He added that it will boost the Nigerian Army’s reconnaissance, surveillance, and air mobility capabilities.


Nwachukwu said the coordinator acknowledged the tireless efforts of those involved in the execution of the Nigerian Army Aviation plan, as well as the international partners.


He said that a Consultant for the Nigerian Army Aviation, Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu (retired), who is also a trained helicopter pilot, lauded the Nigerian Army for sustaining the vision over the years that saw to the actualisation of the Nigerian Army aviation.

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